Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are reportedly in advanced talks about a swap deal involving Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez. The Catalan club are desperate to get the Frenchman off their wage bill and have made the attacker's departure a priority in recent weeks.
The Camp Nou outfit were initially not interested in doing business with Atletico after being burned by Luis Suarez, who was allowed to join them last summer. He went on to help Atletico win the La Liga title over his former employers. But despite interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, Griezmann's first preference was to rejoin his former club.
Barcelona first wanted Joao Felix to be included as part of the deal, but it was rejected by Atletico. It was then that Niguez's name was included, which now suits all parties. According to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, both players have given the green light for the move, with the two clubs now discussing the finances.
"Barcelona and Atletico are in advanced talks for swap deal between Saúl and Griezmann! Both players gave the green light in the last hours," Romano wrote. "Barça and Atléti now negotiating on price tags. Barça want money included."
Griezmann is the current highest earner at Barcelona and the club are desperate to get his wages off the bill in order to be able to register Lionel Messi's new deal. The Frenchman is currently on holiday with Atletico skipper Koke, which suggests that he has already told his former teammate about a potential reunion.
According to Spanish news outlet Cadena Cope, Atletico are very clear about the terms of the deal. They are not willing to include any other player apart from Niguez to bring Griezmann to the Wanda Metropolitano, and they have absolutely no interest in paying Barcelona a fee for Griezmann.
Griezmann's departure and Niguez's arrival will see Barcelona save at least €12 million in wages over a season and around €60 million overall owing to the France international's contract still having three years to run.